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Student jailed for crime spree to fund architect dream

Shaun Reilly stole items worth £8000 from shops and businesses across Dundee.

Dundee Sheriff Court: Reilly was jailed for two years.
Dundee Sheriff Court: Reilly was jailed for two years.

A student who launched an £8000 crime spree to fund his dream of becoming an architect has been jailed.

Shaun Reilly, 21, of Orleans Place, Dundee, was part of a gang who broke into nine businesses in the city in the space of just three weeks.

His lawyer said he wanted to become an architect but was not eligible for bursaries or student loans.

Reilly and his associates targeted Paperchase Wholesale in Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate twice in the space of 24 hours.

A week later they broke in to the Tesco superstore in South Road, smashing their way in through a fire door near the electrical aisle and making off with cash and items.

Just two days later they went back to the same shopand broke through another fire door before stealing £2000 worth of items.

Reilly pleaded guilty on indictment to nine charges of theft by housebreaking.

'I appreciate it may sound like I am giving a plea in mitigation for a 14 or 15-year-old but that's how he presents in some respects.'
Solicitor advocate Kris Gilmartin

Solicitor advocate Kris Gilmartin, defending, said: "It may be a pipe dream but his goal is to become an architect.

"I appreciate it may sound like I am giving a plea in mitigation for a 14 or 15-year-old but that's how he presents in some respects.

"He enrolled in college in August and was shortly after told he had to pay the monies due or he could no longer continue his course."

He added: "Had he at that time taken advice he could probably have been entitled to financial assistance. But he instead became involved in these offences.

"This was a spate of fairly serious offending. The premises were targeted because they knew there would be nobody in them."

Sheriff Alastair jailed Reilly for two years and two months and imposed a one-year supervised release order to monitor him when he is freed.

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